Seventeen year old Fardeen Mohiuddin, son of Ghulam Mohiuddin, who is a Head Constable in J&K Police and currently posted in Srinagar, went missing on 15th September. After nearly a month the picture of the missing boy appeared on social media in which he is seen posing with an AK47 rifle while ‘Jaish-e-Muhammad’ is also inscribed on corner of the picture. In the picture, the boy is seen wearing famous ‘Pakool’ cap and has spotted short beard. Sources said that the teenager may have joined ranks of Jaish-e-Muhammad which has in recent months carried out deadly attacks in Valley.
It is heartening and at same time alarming to see such cases of educated youth being misled. Recently in Aug, Mohammad Eisa Fazli, a Btech student, , went missing from his hostel room in Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) in Rajouri.Two days later a picture of him holding the rifle was uploaded on Facebook announcing that he had joined, ‘Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind’, headed by engineering dropout Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Zakir Musa. Social media has added fuel to fire, with terrorist groups rampant in their call for jihad targeting innocent young boys and girls. The reason why youth fall for radicalization could be many:
- Lack of clarity on terminologies that are hijacked by extremists.
- Lack of understanding of what a sound “Muslim identity” means.
- Lack of balanced discourse on social justice.
- Lack of avenues for positive engagement for young Muslims.
- Natural need for a sense of belonging.
- Inadequate positive role models for Muslim youth who are achievers.
- The lone wolf phenomenon.
The above issues need to be dealt at ground level with positive engagement being the key factor to curb Kashmiri youth falling for extremist rhetoric and radical ideology.